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Sri Lanka Economic Crisis Updates: India Receives No Request on Landing of Prez Gotabaya Rajapaksa's Air Force Jet, Say Sources

Sri Lanka Crisis Updates: President Rajapaksa has officially conveyed to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe that he will resign on July 13 as previously announced

News18.com | July 12, 2022, 23:30 IST

Sri Lanka Crisis Updates: Sri Lanka’s president was considering using a navy patrol craft to flee the island Tuesday following a humiliating standoff with airport immigration, official sources said. Gotabaya Rajapaksa has promised to resign on Wednesday and clear the way for a “peaceful transition of power” following widespread protests against him over the country’s worst economic crisis. Read More

Jul 12, 2022 16:35 IST

Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Seeks Seaborne Escape After Airport Standoff

Sri Lanka’s president was considering using a navy patrol craft to flee the island Tuesday following a humiliating standoff with airport immigration, official sources said. Gotabaya Rajapaksa has promised to resign on Wednesday and clear the way for a “peaceful transition of power” following widespread protests against him over the country’s worst economic crisis. Read More

Jul 12, 2022 15:44 IST

India May Take Steps To Protect Sri Lanka’s Food Security Through Emergency Food Aid

India assured Sri Lanka of all help regarding food and medical aid following requests from Colombo. India told Sri Lanka that it is participating in a proposed aid consortium consisting of Asian giants China and Japan, people familiar with developments have told Moneycontrol. “Earlier requests from the country were for debt restructuring, financial aid, and lines of credit. But the fast deteriorating scenario has led to fears of a full-blown food crisis if the situation doesn’t change fast,” people said. Read More

Jul 12, 2022 14:15 IST

Sri Lanka President Seeks Seaborne Escape After Airport Standoff

Sri Lanka’s president was considering using a navy patrol craft to flee the island Tuesday following a humiliating standoff with airport immigration, official sources said. Gotabaya Rajapaksa has promised to resign on Wednesday and clear the way for a “peaceful transition of power” following widespread protests against him over the country’s worst economic crisis. The 73-year-old leader fled his official residence in Colombo just before tens of thousands of protesters overran it on Saturday. He then wanted to travel to Dubai, officials said. As president, Rajapaksa enjoys immunity from arrest, and he is believed to want to go abroad before stepping down to avoid the possibility of being detained.

Jul 12, 2022 14:09 IST

Sri Lanka Has Been Sinking Since April Fool's Day. Who is to Blame and What's the Last Hope?

Sri Lanka’s economic crisis has finally toppled President Gotabaya Rajapaksa who plans to step down on July 13, bowing to intense pressure after violent protests in which demonstrators stormed the president’s official residence and set fire to the prime minister’s home in Colombo. The violence and political chaos gripping the island nation of 22 million comes amid negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) over a rescue plan, as well as proposals to restructure its sovereign debt, both of which could be thrown into disarray. READ MORE

Jul 12, 2022 13:56 IST

Immigration Officials Say They Won't Allow Gotabaya, Basil Rajapaksa to Leave Sri Lanka

Immigration officials said that they won’t allow Gotabaya and Basil Rajapaksa to leave Sri Lanka. Once President Rajapaksa resigns tomorrow, he will have to fly to Maldives or India by an army aircraft to escape the ire of people.

Jul 12, 2022 13:20 IST

What Lies Ahead for Sri Lanka?

Sri Lanka, which remains gripped in crisis, has seen the resignation of former Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and then the ouster of Gotabaya Rajapaksa. Here is what lies ahead for Sri Lanka:

July 13 – Ranil Wickremesinghe likely to be sworn in as temporary President July 13 – Gotabaya Rajapaksa to resign officially July 15 – Parliament to be convened July 19 – Nominations to be called July 20 – New President to be elected by the MPs

Jul 12, 2022 12:58 IST

Sri Lanka Crisis: Ex-finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa Stopped from Leaving Country

Basil Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka’s former finance minister and younger brother of embattled President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, was turned back at Colombo airport on Tuesday as he attempted to leave the country through the VIP terminal, an immigration officer said, amid mounting anger against the powerful family for mishandling the worst economic crisis. Basil Rajapaksa, 71, tried to leave the crisis-hit island nation, a day before Speaker of Parliament Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena is expected to publicly announce President Rajapaksa’s resignation to the nation.

Jul 12, 2022 12:45 IST

Only People with 'Hitler-like Mindset' Torch Buildings: Sri Lanka PM Wickremesinghe on Arson Attack on His House

Reacting publicly for the first time after his private house was set on fire by anti-government protesters on Saturday, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe on Monday said only people with a “Hitler-like mindset” torch buildings. In a special televised statement, Wickremesinghe said he accepted the post of Prime Minister as the economy was in disarray. Wickremesinghe, 73, said he took over the difficult task to rebuild the economy at a time when the public was undergoing hardships without fuel, cooking gas and electricity. The cost of living was high, no fuel, there was a foreign exchange crisis. People were losing jobs. I saw the suffering of the people,” he said.

Jul 12, 2022 12:16 IST

India May Take Steps To Protect Sri Lanka’s Food Security Through Emergency Food Aid

India assured Sri Lanka of all help regarding food and medical aid following requests from Colombo. India told Sri Lanka that it is participating in a proposed aid consortium consisting of Asian giants China and Japan, people familiar with developments have told Moneycontrol. “Earlier requests from the country were for debt restructuring, financial aid, and lines of credit. But the fast deteriorating scenario has led to fears of a full-blown food crisis if the situation doesn’t change fast,” people mentioned above told Moneycontrol. The people mentioned above also said Colombo is leaning on its closest neighbor seeking food security for its citizens in case the need arises. READ MORE

Jul 12, 2022 11:45 IST

Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Hits Airport Standoff in Escape Attempt

Sri Lanka’s embattled president was stuck in his own country Tuesday in a humiliating standoff with airport immigration staff blocking his exit to safety abroad, official sources said Tuesday. Gotabaya Rajapaksa has promised to resign on Wednesday and clear the way for a “peaceful transition of power” following widespread protests against him over the country’s unprecedented economic crisis. The 73-year-old leader fled his official residence in Colombo just before tens of thousands of protesters overran it on Saturday and wanted to travel to Dubai, officials said. As president, Rajapaksa enjoys immunity from arrest, and he is believed to want to go abroad before stepping down to avoid the possibility of being detained.

Jul 12, 2022 11:02 IST

India May Provide Emergency Food Aid to Crisis-hit Sri Lanka

While the Sri Lankan government is in talks with the International Monetary Fund to rescue the economy, India has assured all help regarding food and medical aid, subject to requests from Colombo, sources said. They added that New Delhi has also assured Colombo of its participation in a proposed aid consortium being planned by Sri Lanka with India, Japan, and China, a report in Moneycontrol said. With high inflation and a lack of imports leading to shortages of food and medicine, Sri Lanka has requested India for aid, sources said.

Jul 12, 2022 10:48 IST

Sri Lanka Crisis Timeline: From Galloping Inflation to A President’s Resignation

Sri Lanka is mired in a deep political and economic crisis and on Saturday the country’s president offered his resignation after being forced to flee his residence in the face of a huge crowd of protesters who eventually stormed the compound. The island nation of 22 million people has suffered months of lengthy blackouts, acute food and fuel shortages and galloping inflation in its most painful downturn on record. Months of protests have demanded the resignation of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, whose government has been blamed for chronic mismanagement of the country’s finances. READ MORE

Jul 12, 2022 10:29 IST

From Anti-Tamil Pogrom to Latest Crisis, Island Nation's Struggle With 'Black Mark' on History

For Sri Lanka, the month of July continues to remain a “black mark” on its history that it tries to wash off but to no avail. Call it coincidence, but several major developments that have marred the island country have taken place in this month. On July 9, Sri Lanka witnessed one of the biggest civil uprisings against a ruling government as protesters refused to budge from President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s residence, a day after they stormed his home, forcing him to flee with the navy and announce he would resign. The dramatic events were the culmination of months of protests by people enraged by the country’s unprecedented economic crisis and the Rajapaksa clan’s incompetence and corruption.

Jul 12, 2022 09:56 IST

Bicycle Demand in Sri Lanka Hikes Amid Fuel Shortage in Country

Jul 12, 2022 09:54 IST

Sri Lanka President Near Airport as Exile Rumours Spread

Sri Lanka’s embattled president was flown to an airbase near the main international airport Monday, officials said, raising speculation he will escape into exile abroad. Gotabaya Rajapaksa fled the presidential palace in Colombo under naval protection on Saturday, shortly before tens of thousands of protesters overran the compound. Hours later, the parliamentary speaker announced Rajapaksa would resign on Wednesday to allow a “peaceful transition of power”.

Jul 12, 2022 09:33 IST

Sri Lanka Crisis Explained: Here's What Led to the Crisis in Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka, a country of 22 million people, is under the grip of an unprecedented economic turmoil, the worst in seven decades, leaving millions struggling to buy food, medicine, fuel and other essentials. Tens of thousands have taken to the streets in recent months, calling for the country’s leaders to resign over accusations of economic mismanagement. They blame the Rajapaksa family for the crisis. Schools have been suspended and fuel has been limited to essential services. Patients are unable to travel to hospitals due to the fuel shortage and food prices are soaring. In several major cities, including Colombo, hundreds are forced to stand in line for hours to buy fuel, sometimes clashing with police and the military as they wait. The country, with an acute foreign currency crisis that resulted in foreign debt default, had announced in April that it is suspending nearly USD 7 billion foreign debt repayment due for this year out of about USD 25 billion due through 2026. Sri Lanka’s total foreign debt stands at USD 51 billion.

Jul 12, 2022 09:27 IST

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa Signs Resignation Letter

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has signed the resignation letter, dated July 13, local media reports said. Rajapaksa informed the Speaker on Saturday that he will resign on July 13. The Parliament has made all arrangements to elect a successor in terms of the procedure, the Speaker’s office said.

Jul 12, 2022 09:17 IST

Sri Lankan Army Rejects Claim That it Fired Directly at Protesters

Sri Lanka Economic Crisis: The Sri Lankan Army has dismissed claims that it shot directly at protesters who attempted to enter embattled President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s official residence in central Colombo’s high-security Fort area during the weekend. Thousands of irate anti-government protesters on Saturday stormed into embattled President Rajapaksa’s official residence after breaking the barricades, as they demanded his resignation over the island nation’s worst economic crisis in recent memory. Tear gas and water cannons were used while shots were also fired by the military to try and disperse the crowd. Later, video footage of the confrontation went viral on social media showing security forces shooting moments before protesters entered the President’s House.

Jul 12, 2022 08:55 IST

As Sri Lanka Burns, Ranil Wickremesinghe Desperate for Prez Post

As the political turmoil in Sri Lanka simmers, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is keen to take over as president of the beleaguered island nation but his complicity with the Rajapaksas may throw a spanner in the works, top Sri Lankan sources have told CNN-News18. According to the sources, Wickremesinghe coming to power will be a repeat of the Rajpaksa rule since, in the public eye, the prime minister was always accused of aiding the leaders who were charged with corruption. They added that the public believes had Wickremesinghe not accepted the premiership in April this year, Gotabaya Rajapaksa would have stepped down from presidency. READ MORE

Jul 12, 2022 08:33 IST

Fleeing Rajapaksa's Cash Handed to Sri Lankan Police

Millions of rupees in cash left behind by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa when he fled his official residence in the capital will be handed over to court on Monday, police said. Protesters discovered 17.85 million rupees (about $50,000) in crisp new banknotes but turned it over to police following Saturday’s storming of the Presidential palace. “The cash was taken over by the police and will be produced in court today,” a police spokesman said.

The 73-year-old leader fled his official residence in Colombo just before tens of thousands of protesters overran it on Saturday. He then wanted to travel to Dubai, officials said.

Sri Lanka’s embattled president was flown to an airbase near the main international airport Monday, officials said, raising speculation he will escape into exile abroad.

Hours later, the parliamentary speaker announced Rajapaksa would resign on Wednesday to allow a “peaceful transition of power”. The 73-year-old leader had taken refuge at a navy facility in the island’s northeast, a top defence official said, adding that he was brought to the Katunayake airbase adjoining the country’s main international airport.

“He and his entourage were flown back to Colombo in two Bell 412 choppers,” the official added. There was no official word from the president’s office about his whereabouts, and several local media reports speculated he was set to leave for Dubai later Monday.

But four commercial flights subsequently took off for Middle Eastern destinations without him, airport officials said. Immigration officers were refusing to go to the VIP suite to stamp his passport, while he insisted he would not go through the public facilities, they added — a humiliating stand-off for the leader once known as ‘The Terminator’.

A military source said Rajapaksa, who remains the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, had the option of travelling in an air force aircraft. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s office said Rajapaksa had officially informed him of the president’s intention to resign, without specifying a date.

Sri Lanka’s political parties on Monday initiated steps to form an all-party government and subsequently elect a new President on July 20 to prevent the bankrupt nation sliding further into anarchy.

The entire Sri Lankan Cabinet will resign and hand over their responsibilities to a new all-party interim government as soon as it is formed, Prime Minister Wickremesinghe’s office said on Monday, as the country grappled with political and economic crises. It said all members of the cabinet have agreed to hand over their responsibilities to a new all-party government as soon as it is formed.

“All the ministers who participated in the discussion were of the opinion that as soon as there is an agreement to form an all-party government, they are ready to hand over their responsibilities to that government, the PM Office said.

(with inputs from agencies)

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